Recipe & Images AMBER BREMNER

Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is a Hawaiian diced raw fish dish, typically marinated in a tangy Japanese influenced dressing. This twist on the classic transforms diced watermelon into a flavoursome substitute for raw tuna, with a surprisingly ‘meaty’ texture. Serve with brown rice, fried tofu and vegetables for a fun and healthy summer meal.

Watermelon poke

¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
pinch chilli flakes
half a watermelon

To serve

300g (one pack) firm tofu
oil for frying
4 serves cooked brown rice
2 cups frozen edamame beans
2–3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1–2 avocados, thinly sliced
pickled ginger
toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 180°C. Mix watermelon poke marinade ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Remove rind and cube the watermelon, then toss in the marinade. Strain the watermelon, making sure to keep the marinade, and spread the watermelon in a single layer in a large roasting dish. Bake watermelon for 45 minutes, until it has shrunk and become firmer—but is not browned. While still hot, scoop the baked watermelon back into the bowl of marinade and refrigerate until cold. This can be done up to a day ahead of time.

When ready to serve, drain the tofu, cube and fry until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and season with a little salt. Cook edamame beans in boiling water for 2–3 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water. In bowls, top cooked brown rice (hot or cold) with drained watermelon poke, fried tofu, edamame beans, sliced radish, cucumber and avocado. Add a little pickled ginger and a scattering of sesame seeds and serve reserved marinade on the side as a dressing. A drizzle of kewpie mayo doesn’t go amiss here either.

Amber Bremner
Quite Good Food

Amber Bremner is the author of popular plant based food blog Quite Good Food. A champion for cooking and eating food that makes you feel good, she believes small changes in the way we approach food have the power to make a difference.

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